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Cloud Without Integration is a Data Brick Wall

· Cloud Zone

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brickwallIs that surprising? To anyone who’s using Software as a Service (SaaS), data silos are just as much of a problem as they were for applications a decade ago. Ironic, isn’t it, that we’ve come so far and yet are recreating the data silos of the last generation? A survey published in Integration Developer News shows that 92 percent of CIO’s see the benefit of Cloud solutions but are concerned that data will be trapped in one vendor’s service, unavailable to the remainder of the organization. They’re right.

That concern makes perfect sense when you consider the rapid rise of business-friendly analytics that rely on access to data across the enterprise. If we save money and add functionality quickly through SaaS apps, but in the process reduce end-to-end visibility for the business, we’ve gained nothing.

Despite silos, strong expectations

Integration Developer News SurveyOn the positive side, SaaS is viewed favorably by most CIO’s despite the silo problem. The same survey showed:

  • 92 percent said the adoption of cloud technologies is good for business.
  • 67 percent said cloud technologies help IT deliver better systems for less money.
  • 62 percent said SaaS applications give business stakeholders more ownership of key applications.
  • Cloud is gaining a foothold across many corporate departments, including IT (67 percent), sales (36 percent), and customer support (35 percent).

Having your cake and integrating it, too

So what will it take for CIO’s to have their SaaS cake and integrate it too? More than many folks realize, there’s a need to invest in products that access Saas data through the many API’s that are available but that, at the same time, are a challenge to manage without automation around access, security and performance. And don’t think about going backward to data warehouses. Simply applying business intelligence (BI) front ends to provide SaaS dashboarding won’t solve the problems of needing real-time intelligence and likely won’t scale as quickly as the sources and volumes of data required by the organization. This problem is too complex to be an afterthought.

If we want Cloud success, we need to make integration a significant focus of the effort. Without it, Cloud doesn’t make much sense and is very short-term thinking.

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